Surely you like to enjoy a day at the beach, cool off in clear waters, stroll through fine, clean sand, have all the services you need at your fingertips… yes, we do too. But, if now nothing about the beach we are visiting, we may have a bad surprise and find out it is not as beautiful as we imagined.
Therefore, the Blue Flag badge is essential when deciding where to spend our vacations or that weekend getaway that we so deserve. Today at Sonneil we tell you what a Blue Flag is and why they are so necessary.
Blue Flag: the most reliable quality badge
After more than thirty years watching over the environmental quality of beaches, Blue Flag has become the most reliable quality mark in this regard, and an added value for the countries that display it on their beaches.
How was Blue Flag created?
As you may read on its website, Blue Flag was created in 1985 “as a national award for marinas and boats that distinguishes at a distance those who love and protect the marine environment.” A few years later it was expanded as an environmental education program and, finally, as a procedure to enforce the EU’s Bathing Water Quality Directive.
In Spain, the NGO in charge of granting the Blue Flag distinction and enforcing environmental criteria in beaches and marinas is ADEAC (Association for Environmental and Consumer Education).
What criteria are followed?
The Blue Flag is already a symbol recognized by millions of beach and marina users. Watching it wave gives us peace of mind and confidence. If you wonder what a Blue Flag is, you should know it is the fruit of a lot of effort and a great environmental awareness, which is scored based on very strict criteria that are agreed annually on an international level.
The criteria that a Blue Flag beach must meet are divided into four blocks:
- Environmental Information and Education. There must be panels with information on the beach, the coastal ecosystems and, where appropriate, on nearby protected natural spaces, along with a code of conduct for these spaces. The municipality must organize at least five environmental education activities per year.
- Water quality. The quality of bathing water on the beach, during the previous bathing season, must be excellent, in all its sampling points, in accordance with the Bathing Water Quality Directive. A number of periodic water samples must be officially taken to determine this quality.
- Environmental management. The beach must comply with environmental legislation, especially the Coastal Law, and must be clean and have adequate waste management, including the selective collection of containers, paper, glass, etc. The beach must have public baths. Urban beaches and/or at least one of the municipality’s Blue Flag beaches must have one bath adapted for people with disabilities.
- Security and Services. The beaches must have easy and safe accesses. In addition, urban beaches must be accessible to people with disabilities. There must be a first aid kit, as well as adequate human equipment and life-saving supplies.
As you can see, a Blue Flag beach offers all the guarantees for you to enjoy it to the fullest. And, of course, Spain has plenty of them!